The Dominion Post published Warren Barton’s Top 100 wines with today’s edition of the paper. This annual selection of wines is a most interesting and important one, as Warren is one of this country’s most experienced wine writers. A journalist first, Warren has developed a keen sense and appreciation of wines and the wine scene in this country, and relates very closely with the ‘man on the street’. Not just any man, but one who has more than a passing interest in wine, but professes no expertise in the product.
This makes Warren a bridge between the wine industry and the average consumer – the consumer that the industry tries so hard to reach. On this count, Warren’s Top 100 selection gives many insights as to how the industry is seen to be progressing, and how well it is doing. It is of immense value to see what Warren has chosen, as it is surely a snapshot of the trends and feelings of the industry and the public, as well as a good man’s 100 recommendations of excellent New Zealand wines.
Warren reports that in 14 years of compiling his list, “the choice has never been wider or more difficult”. Value is a crucial determinant nowadays and in that vein, Warren has restricted the number of the “most distinguished and naturally more expensive” wines in favour of value and a broader range of what’s available. His conclusion is that we “have never had it so good”. I whole heartedly agree, and any attempt to offer critical advice in selecting good wines now can only be applauded. Here is his Top 100 for this year: